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Injustice done to State in rail budget, says Yeddyurappa

Special Correspondent


Chief Minister writes to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue

Veerappa Moily terms Yeddyurappa’s grouse as politically motivated


Bangalore: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh highlighting what he has termed the “Grave injustice done to Karnataka” in the Railway Budget presented on Friday and has sought redressal in the Railway Minister’s reply to the budget.

He said: “we are aware that Karnataka is not ruled by a party which is a constituent of the UPA. However, India being a Union of States with a federal structure, it is the right of every State to get a just and fair share in the Central budget and schemes. It is unfortunate that Karnataka has not been getting its due from the UPA Government for the last five years. This is evident in the Railway Budget for 2009.”

Contribution

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the State had been contributing the highest amount compared to others for the railway projects taken up here. “We have taken up six cost-sharing railway projects with our contribution ranging from 50 per cent to 67 per cent of the total cost. The Railways have been appreciating the proactive role played by the State Government in the execution of rail projects. However, when it comes to sanctioning of new rail lines or starting new train services, Karnataka has been getting a very raw deal from the Union Government.”

Out of the 43 new trains proposed to be introduced by the Railways, only one train — Mysore-Yeshwanthpur Express — will benefit the people of the State.

The Mumbai-Karwar superfast train which has been announced passed through only 20 km of the State benefiting only one town as a majority of this railway stretch passed through Goa and Maharashtra.

Mr. Yeddyurappa has sought the Prime Minister’s intervention on four rail projects and said the State Government was willing to contribute 50 per cent of the expenditure. They are the Dharwad-Belgaum via Kittur, Alamatti-Koppal, Kudachi-Bagalkot and Gadag-Haveri projects.

Further, the Mumbai-Karwar superfast train should be extended up to Mangalore and the proposed Bangalore-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express should run via Hubli and not Kacheguda (Hyderabad) as stated in the budget.

The Chief Minister also sought introduction of four new trains — Shimoga-Bangalore intercity express, Solapur-Bangalore via Gadag and Hubli, Bijapur-Mysore via Hubli and Hassan, and Gulbarga-Bangalore intercity express.

He said for many years the State Government had been requesting the Railway Ministry to sanction 10 new rail projects and had also stated that the State would fund up to 50 per cent of the cost of these projects. But not a single railway project had been sanctioned.

The former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily, in a sharp reaction to the requests of Mr. Yeddyurappa, said: “his cribbing is just politically motivated and mischievous. The Chief Minister’s letter to the Railway Minister for consideration of some projects in the budget was made over only about a week ago. This reflects failure in the discharge of his duty.”

Lapse of funds

Mr. Moily said in 2007-08, Rs 100 crore out of the sanctioned Rs. 500 crore allocated for Karnataka had lapsed and surrendered to the Railway Ministry due to delay by the State Government in the acquisition of land for various projects.

The State Government was answerable for this lapse, he added.

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